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Two Platforms, Two Shore Approaches, Two Lines And A Hurricane
Mears' plan was to drill an additional pilot hole for installation of an individual two-inch HDPE line, which would be sufficient for the fiber optic line needed.
The two-inch line installation was made possible via a technique that was unlike anything Mears Group had ever attempted. After a pilot hole was drilled using the same methods described above, the two-inch HDPE wasn't pulled back by itself. Instead, it was pulled back through the drill string, using a 3/8-inch cable and a custom-fabricated drum adapter on the north platform's 140-drill spread. After the two-inch line crossed successfully, the drill string was removed a joint at a time by pulling toward the south platform. This was an innovative and successful conclusion to a long and challenging HDD project. The HDD portion of the DVP Transmission Project was officially completed on Dec. 15, 2011, comfortably in time for Christmas.
Because they are literally invisible, HDD crossings don't capture the public's imagination in the same way as skyscrapers or dams or sophisticated new bridges. But the technical achievements are just as spectacular. To cross 3.5 miles of river without disrupting the environment or shipping, and to do so on schedule and within budget, is a major infrastructure accomplishment, one that will enable the Middle Peninsula to be powered up for decades to come.
FOR MORE INFO:
Mears Group Inc. HDD Division, (281) 448-2488, www.mears.net
Haley & Aldrich, (603) 391-3309, www.HaleyAldrich.com
American Augers, (800) 324-4930, www.americanaugers.com